A Reason for the Wilderness

We all experience difficult times.  Sometimes we know that those difficulties are a direct result of our own stupidity.  Other times we are unable to discern what went wrong.  It is nice to know that God has a reason for everything and can even use difficult times to continue His work in us.

I.  The Wilderness:  Deuteronomy 8:1-2

 “Every commandment which I command you today you must be careful to observe, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land of which the Lord swore to your fathers. And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not.

Deuteronomy is the farewell address of Moses.  He has led the children of Israel out of Egypt and through the wilderness for forty years.  As they are on the verge of entering the promised land Moses reviews what they have learned.  The time in the wilderness was a time of humbling.  Israel could not survive without God’s help.  We too, should accept the fact that we need God’s help to face our own wilderness.  The time in the wilderness was a time of testing.  We too, are tested by the difficulties that we experience.  Are we able to continue in faith and obedience to God when times are difficult?  The time in the wilderness was used to examine their hearts.  Did they love God?  Were they willing to keep His commandments?  Do we?  Are we?  Difficult times reveal our character.

II.  Not By Bread Alone:  Deuteronomy 8:3-4

So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord. Your garments did not wear out on you, nor did your foot swell these forty years.

God allows us to hunger, so that we might recognize both the provision of God, and the need for God.  These verses were referenced by Jesus when He was being tempted in the wilderness.  We too, should remember that we do not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.  We should not find our primary fulfillment in the things of the world, but in the Word of God.

III. Know in Your Heart:  Deuteronomy 8:5-6

 You should know in your heart that as a man chastens his son, so the Lord your God chastens you.

“Therefore you shall keep the commandments of the Lord your God, to walk in His ways and to fear Him.

Sometimes the difficulties that we experience are used by God to chasten us, to correct us.  Sometimes we don’t listen.  Sometimes we are disobedient.  When difficulties come it is appropriate to ask God if He is trying to tell us something, or if we are being disobedient.  We should listen for His still small voice.  If we are being disobedient, then we should repent and change our ways.  We should love God, and respect Him enough to listen and obey.

When we experience difficulties we should ask God if there is something in our life that we need to change.  If not, then we can trust that it is only a test and we can hold fast to our faith in God and our obedience to His Word.  God will see us through the wilderness if we will humbly walk with Him.

These are the sermon notes from October 26, 2014.  Any advertisements that accompany this blog are placed by WordPress.  I have no control over them, nor do I receive any money from them.

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